Differently abled, but determined to face challenges

Published : 10:23 am  July 2, 2015 | No comments so far |  | 

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Sellaiah Logeswari (56) is the eldest in a family of seven children.  Born handicapped with only one hand and lives in Amman Street, Thonikkal, Vavuniya with her siblings. A group of media personnel heard of Logeswari and her family through the Samurdhi officer of the area who noted that this family was in dire need of help.


Until 1995 we lived in Jaffna. The war left us displaced and we came to Vavuniya. My father died in 2012 and my mother is hunched and unable to stand. Due to her old age, she often falls ill


Her dwelling though humble, was well kept which made the visitors wonder as to what sort of help this family would possibly need through the visiting media personnel. They noticed a small crowd of villagers gifting the family with dry rations brought in shopping bags.
Inquiries revealed that the family is living in abject poverty and untold hardships. Logeswari’s sister, the second in the family Sellaiah  Gunawathie (54) had died of liver cancer, barely a month ago, the villagers revealed. As a customary act of kindness, the villagers assist this family with foodstuff and other rations.family3

Logeswari recounted her heartbreaking tale of her family’s plight. “Until 1995 we lived in Jaffna. The war left us displaced and we came to Vavuniya. My father died in 2012 and my mother is hunched and unable to stand. Due to her old age, she often falls ill,” she said. After losing her father, Logeswari, being the eldest had become the lone bread winner of the family, attending to the family’s needs.
Her sister Gunawathie aged 54 was treated at the Vavuniya Hospital for liver cancer and eventually transferred to the General Hospital in Colombo where she underwent three surgeries but with no avail. She had to continue her battle with the liver ailment with untold physical and mental trauma.

Logeswari had to face a tough task.  She was highly worried about taking Gunawathie to her village with care, which was beyond her means. The other option was, if she dies, to have her funeral in Colombo where their relatives, especially her mother, would be deprived of an opportunity to pay their last respects.

Logeswari decided to discharge Gunawathie from the hospital against medical advice and to take her to Vavuniya in a van. She learnt the van hiring charges would be in the range of Rs. 15, 000 or more; an amount they simply could not afford. Finally, they decided to take her severely ill sister by bus. Gunawathie, well aware of the predicament of her family, bore up her pain and anguish travelled to Vavuniya by bus.


Logeswari has her own ailments for which she receives treatment but she avoids troubling others for her family needs. They are determined to manage with what they have


The Vavuniya hospital authorities pointed out that her ailment was beyond cure, and as such admitting her in the hospital would serve no purpose. There was no alternative but to have the sick and dying sister among the family and render whatever assistance she needed. Gunawathie who was brought home on May 13, and died on 27th with her mother and family members beside her. The funeral was held on the same day in view to minimize whatever expenses that might incur to embalm the body and to give Gunawathie a perfect final journey.

family4Logeswari continued to relate about her other siblings. The third in the family is Sellaiah Logeswaran (49). He got through his O/Levels but could not continue any further due to the war. Unemployed and unmarried Logeswaran became a victim of diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol.

Sellaiah Dayabaran (47), the fourth in the family was fortunate in comparison to his other siblings. Although he is physically sound but suffers from the trauma and fear of being sick. He does odd jobs. Sellaiah Thangeswari (46) is another sister who still remains as a spinster.

The only married sibling of the family is Sellaiah Thilakeswary.  However her husband had left her in 2008, she has two children aged 10 and 6. The youngest of the family is Sellaiah Dayanidhi (40) has been mentally ill over the past 23 years and still under treatment.

Logeswari continues to care for all her siblings with great difficulty. Having passed her A/Levels, her aim was to follow  an external Degree. But that too was aborted due to economic setbacks.

 With her A/L certificates she tried to get a job as a teacher in a government school. To her dismay she found her educational qualifications were sufficient, her physical disability prevented her from joining government services. She lives with the hope of getting a job as there are scopes for differently able persons. Presently Logeswari earns a meagre living by conducting tuition classes for students in Tamil. She also earns some money by weaving boxes out of Palmyrah leaves.

Their house was built and donated to them by a relative who had died some years ago. They have no relatives or kind-hearted people to assist them any further.


She learnt the van hiring charges would be in the range of Rs. 15, 000 or more; an amount they simply could not afford. Finally, they decided to take her severely ill sister by bus


Logeswari has her own ailments for which she receives treatment but she avoids troubling others for her family needs. They are determined to manage with what they have. These siblings prefer to remain single as enlarging their family would only add more burden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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